These are pictures (via Gateway Pundit via Instapundit) of the bombs used in the recent “bungled bombings” in London. (The yellow strip in the first picture is a traffic line to give you some sense of scale.)
I have to ask: Is this all it takes these days to steer the course of mighty nations, a half-dozen disgruntled loons with homemade hand-grenades?
If so, we are all screwed.
Many commentators described the terror attacks on the London transit system, even the second wave which failed, as “sophisticated.” However, if you look at the details of the attacks, both in terms of logistics and execution, there doesn’t appear to be anything very sophisticated about them. Any reasonably bright high school student could have carried them off. Certainly anybody with a couple of semesters of college-level organic chemistry could have made the bombs. Timing devices and detonators are trivial. I am confident that I personally could make a similar bomb using commonly available materials. Getting some deluded idiot to carry out a suicide attack would be difficult but not impossible. Carrying out a non-suicide attack would be easy.
It takes no special talent, skills, training or resources to carry out a terrorist attack which can kill dozens. In any developed country there are literally millions of individuals with the technical skills necessary to manufacture the little piss-ant bombs used in the London attacks. If we legitimize these attacks in any way, or do anything that in the least makes it appear that the attacks shifted the national political debate in the direction that the perpetrators wanted, we risk creating incentives for every deluded idiot with a grudge to kill at random in the name of whatever cause he can think up.
The West doesn’t currently suffer from waves of terrorist attacks from homegrown extremists. This is not because our own political zealots lack the technical skills and means to carry out such attacks. It is because western political extremists understand that such attacks are the express ticket to political oblivion. The militia movement was a growing concern before the Oklahoma City bombing. Afterwards, it withered because the bombers espoused a similar philosophy to the militia movement, even though they had been rejected by all of the militia groups for being too extreme. The closest we have to ongoing terror movements in America are radical environmentalists, who are very careful to destroy only property. Eventually, they will accidentally kill somebody and then their days will be over.
We must always make it clear that any individuals, groups or movements that endorse terrorism in any form will be expelled from the political debate instantly. If we don’t make this clear, we will find ourselves under attack from political extremists left, right and orthogonal. If we don’t make this clear, there is bottle of nitrate compounds wrapped in nails in everyone’s future.
(Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting)